Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by Statkowski
As part of the study, the PRR leased two New Haven FL-9s (see pages 15 & 65). By the time they reached the Hudson River tubes they had set themselves on fire (the FL-9s worked well on the NYC's underrunning third rail but did not operate well on PRR/LIRR overrunning third rail). Needless to say, the PRR was not impressed with FL-9s.
  by philipmartin
I worked in Pennsy towers in New York and New Jersey, in 1957 and 1958, and I remember the incident of the FL-9s that were supposed to take a train to the New York and Long Branch, and caught on fire. Needless to say, as a rail nut I was anxious to get a look at the FL-9s.
  by SemperFidelis
Seems like, with some work and effort, and perhaps a new third rail that the FL9s worked better with, we could have solved a few of the problems that either still plague us today or took many decades and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars to fix.

Direct NYC service to High Bridge, direct NYC service for Booton Line (would have had to wait for Montclair Connection or its own connection n the Meadowlands), Bay Head to NYC with no engine change, Midtown Direct would have only required a set of ramps for the connection, could have skipped Secaucus Junction and just built connections, and (capacity problems would obviously still be an issue) but the same could have been done with the NYSW and CSX River Line routes as well.

Maybe, with netter transit times, service on the old Erie Greenwood Lake line could have been saved.

What a shame the test failed. Direct NYC service by the 1960s could have saved many headaches down the road. Oor course, the peole who own the companies that do studies would have had to find real work, but whatever.
  by philipmartin
The Penny and the New York Central did a lot of things the opposite of each other. Third rails are one example. On the Pennsy, and associated roads, the third rail contact shoe rode on top of the third rail. On the NYC the shoe runs under the third rail. Of course that's what FL=9s usually used. Here's an illustration of an under running third rail. There is a very interesting article on the electrification of Grand Central on "Iridetheharlemline," in Google, which I can't get a good link to.
Also, see RAILROAD.NET • View topic - Why Over Running Third Rail? viewtopic.php?f=63&t=51212" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Statkowski
The problem was not the third rail, but rather the third rail shoe apparatus. Set up for underrunning third rail? NYC had no problems. Set up for overrunning third rail? LIRR & PRR had no problems. Come up with an arrangement that can handle both? That's when one discovers the difference between "theory" and "practical application."